Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

27 December 2020

A Few Thoughts on Luke 2:8-18


Luke 2:8-18

The familiar news of the angels, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and the Messiah.

The angels were delegated to give a message.

They obeyed.

The shepherds heard the message.

They interpreted it in its plain, normal sense.

They believed the message.

They acted on the message.

They confirmed that the message was true.

They left with the message and its confirmation.

They told others the message.

The principle for us is clear to read the Scriptures, interpret them in the plain, normal sense, know its meaning, believe it, and to show we believe, we do the message.

Let us be encouraged to do the same.


26 December 2020

A Few Thoughts on Titus 2:13-14

Titus 2:13-14 NIV while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

A reason to come.

The gift of all gifts.

The past gift—His birth in Bethlehem.

The coming gift—His return for His church

It is a blessed hope.

B1 Hope is the expectant fulfillment of promise.

B2 Blessed is the happy, joys, relieving, satisfaction of God’s joy.

It is the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

B1 Jesus is God

B2 Jesus is Savior

B3 Glory is the majesty, the admiration, the beauty of character and wisdom that is God’s. The one who will, in wisdom, holiness, and love, destroy evil and make all things new.

It is a giving of Himself.

B1 He is the propitiating sacrifice, that is, our Passover Lamb, the volunteer who is fully qualified to be the substitute.

B2 He did not have to this, He volunteered.

It is a redeeming of us.

B1 We were sold to sin.

B2 He paid the price to redeem us. This price was we would be sentenced to death. He died for us.

It is a redeeming of us.

B1 From the sin nature.

B2 To freedom to live the life God wants for us.

It is a purifying.

B1 From sin

B2 From sin’s guilt

It is a for a purpose.

B1 A people who are His own.

B2 A people to serve.

C1 Eager

C2 To do good

B3 A people whose lives bear much fruit (Galatians 5:22-23)

These blessings are eternal.

He is the best gift.

Merry Christmas.

25 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About Jesus Christ at Christmas Time

Isaiah 9:6 GW A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:11-12 NRSV to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."

Matthew 17:2 NRSV And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
2 Peter 1:16 NET For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur.

Revelation 1:12-16 MKJV And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. 13 And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the midst of the seven lampstands I saw One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and tied around the breast with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 And His feet were like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace. And His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 And He had seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. And His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Revelation 11:15 PickNT So the seventh angel trumpeted, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever."

For Christmas Day - Poem by Charles Wesley
(now known as Hark the Herald Angels Sing)

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
"Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcil'd!"

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
"Christ the Lord is born to-day!"

Christ, by highest Heaven ador'd,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!

Veil'd in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail th' incarnate Deity!
Pleas'd as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman's conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruin'd nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam's likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O, to all thyself impart,
Form'd in each believing heart.

Charles Wesley

19 December 2017

Good News of Great Joy

The Greatest Gift

Scriptures: Luke 2:1-21

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Jesus was a gift of God who was born to a virgin. He was destined to save His people.
Think: Joy at what the Savior has done for me motivates me to live for Him and to share the good news.
Do: Take joy in celebrating the Savior’s birth and share the good news with others.

Notes and questions:
B1 Luke 2:1-7 NKJV  And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  2  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  3  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.  4  Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  5  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  6  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  7  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
C1 What do you think Joseph’s thoughts were as Mary and he traveled to Bethlehem?
C2 What was Mary thinking at this time?
C3 Name 3 things that strike you as wonderful in this passage.
C4 Labor of Love
C5 Why did Jesus have to be born?
B2 Luke 2:8-21 NKJV  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  10  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  11  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  12  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."  13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"  15  So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  16  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  17  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  18  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  19  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  20  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.  21  And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
C1 As an aside, I would like to mention that shepherds are in the fields in December.
D1 Genesis 31:38-40 WEB  “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks.  39  That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.  40  This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes.
D2 The word for frost means something bald and cold, so ice, hail, frost, etc. It is used 7 times in the Old Testament. Six of those times it refers to ice, hail, frost, etc. Genesis 31:40, Job 6:16, Job 37:10, Job 38:29, Psalm 147:17, and Jeremiah 36:30.
D3 Most Bible translations have cold.
D4 Weather in Haran, where Laban lived and Jacob took care of Laban’s sheep.
D5 So the likelihood of Bethlehem shepherds being in the fields are high.
C2 I don’t care what the date was. I rejoice and worship the Virgin’s baby, Jesus, God’s son.
C3 How could you argue that it is most reasonable that real angels gave this message?
C4 What was the effect of this on the shepherds, Mary, and Joseph?
B3 Luke 2:2 WEB  This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
C1 Critics attack this as proving that Luke did not write the Gospel or that he was in error. Either way, they state, this proves that the Bible is fallible, not infallible.
E1 Quirinius was governor 2 different times.
E2 There were 2 different census enrollments. (Compare Acts 5:37).
E3 The Greek word πρῶτος prōtos should be translated before as in John 1:15 and John 1:30.
B4 The journey
C1 Map
C2 The Journey:
D1 Nazareth to Jordan Valley (~1200 feet above sea level)
D2 Down Jordan Valley to Jericho (~853 feet below sea level)
D3 Up to Jerusalem (~2474 feet above sea level)
D4 The total distance would be about 80 miles.
D5 Joseph most likely had a donkey to help transport wood, etc. Mary probably rode the donkey.
D6 The journey would have taken 4-7 days.
D7 Mary was 9 months pregnant.
D8 How many miles would they have traveled each day?
B5 The birth
C1 Do you think there were any birth attendants at the side of the manager when Mary birthed the Lord Jesus?
C2 Where Mary and Joseph married?
D1 Since they were travelling together to be registered for the census, they would have been married.
D2 Luke 2:5 NKJV be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
B6 Was Mary sinless?
C1 The Orthodox Church position as answered in a question:
D1 Mary could indeed have sinned, but chose not to.
D2 Humans do not accept that humans share the guilt of the first sin but, rather, only the consequences.
C2 Yes, Mary is sinless. The Roman Catholic view from the Catechism quoted here:
D1 Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception.
D2 Mary was from conception preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
D3 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
D4 The Father chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.”
C3 Consider:
D1 The Bible never states that Mary was sinless (without sin). An important doctrine would surely be written clearly.
D2 Luke 2:22-24 WPNT And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens a womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was specified in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
E1 One sacrifice was for purification so to be clean to enter the Temple.
E2 The other was for a sin offering. Because of impurity, Mary could not go into the Temple. This sin had to be atoned for. This was the least of the blood type sacrifices.
E3 Leviticus 12:8 NRSV  If she cannot afford a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement on her behalf, and she shall be clean.
D3 If Mary is the woman of Revelation 12:2 NRSV  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth, as Romans Catholics teach, then she would not have had birth pains. Birth pains were a punishment for sin: Genesis 3:16 NRSV  To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
D4 Mary died; she is not living today. Humans die because they sin.
E1 Romans 6:23 NRSV  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
E2 James 1:14-15 NRSV  But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it;  15  then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.
D5 In the New Testament, Mary is never exalted.
D6 There is no passage in the Bible showing Mary exalted in heaven either.
D7 Even seven Popes are quoted on the same side, and among them three of the greatest, viz., Leo 1. (who says that Christ alone was free from original sin, and that Mary obtained her purification through her conception of Christ), Gregory I., and Innocent III. (§29. The Argument for the Immaculate Conception. THE CREEDS OF CHRISTENDOM, WITH A HISTORY AND CRITICAL NOTES. BY PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D., PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, N. Y.)
B7 Did Mary have other children?
C1 There is no reason not to interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
C2 The plain, normal sense states in
D1 Mark 3:32 HCSB A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, “Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters are outside asking for You.
D2 Mark 6:3 HCSB Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t His sisters here with us? ” So they were offended by Him.
B8 Who was the father of Jesus, according to the Scriptures?
C1 John 8:54 NKJV  Jesus answered, If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.
C2 John 17:5 NKJV  And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
C3 Psalms 2:7 NKJV  I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. WITH Hebrews 1:5 NKJV  For to which of the angels did He ever say: "YOu are my son, today i have begotten you"? And again: "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"?
B9 In our Scripture passage, who are the one’s testifying about Jesus to others? (See Luke 2:10-13 and Luke 2:17).
B10 Let us know and follow the Scriptures to be good apologists.
B11 Let us tell others about the Savior, Jesus Christ.
B12 Next week:
C1 Glory Awaits
C2 Theme: The Promise of Resurrection
C3 Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:20-58

20 December 2016

The King is Born

Theme: The birth of Jesus

Know: Jesus is the long awaited Messiah and King.
Think: Confidence that Christ is who He claims to be guides my thinking.
Do: Acknowledge and obey Christ as the King of my life.

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-25

Notes and questions:
B1 Read:
  • 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore [fn]and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • 21 "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection." 23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place." 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:21-26)
  • What was one of the purposes for the Apostles’ preaching and teaching?
  • The Gospels were written to remember and spread the life, teachings, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
B2 The genealogy traces Messiah through King David and Abraham. Why special mention of these two men? Compare Genesis 22:18, Psalm 110:1, and Romans 1:3.
B3 Messiah is the deliverer, savior,
B4 How do we know that Jesus is the Messiah? Consider:

Old Testament Scriptures That Describe The Coming Messiah

The Messiah will be the offspring (descendant) of the woman (Eve) Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4
The Messiah will be a descendant of Abraham, through whom everyone on earth will be blessed Genesis 12:3, Genesis 18:18, Acts 3:25-26,  Matthew 1:1
The Messiah will be a descendant of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:1-2, Luke 3:23-33
The Messiah will be a prophet like Moses Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Acts 3:22-23
The Messiah will be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17,  Mark 1:11,  Luke 3:22
The Messiah will be raised from the dead Psalm 16:10-11 Matthew 28:5-9, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:4-7, John 20:11-16, Acts 1:3, Acts 2:32
The Messiah crucifixion experience Psalm 22 (contains 11 separate prophecies—not all listed here) Matthew 27:34-50, John 19:17-30
The Messiah will be sneered at and mocked Psalm 22:7-8 Luke 23:11, Luke 23:35-39
The Messiah will be pierced through hands and feet Psalm 22:17 (note, a number of translations render this differently; this is a difference between Septuagint and Masoretic translations) Luke 23:33, Luke 24:36-39,  John 19:18, John 20:19-20, John 20:24-27
The Messiah’s bones will not be broken Psalm 34:21 John 19:31-33, John 19:36
Men Will Gamble for the Messiah’s clothing Psalm 22:19 Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:23-24
The Messiah will accused by false witnesses Psalm 35:11 Matthew 26:59-60, Mark 14:56-57
The Messiah will be hated without a cause Psalm 35:19, Psalm 69:5 John 15:23-25
The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:10 John 13:18-21
The Messiah will ascend to heaven (at the right hand of God) Psalm 68:18-19 Luke 24:51,  Acts 1:9, Acts 2:32-35, Acts 5:31-32, Acts 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20-21, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 8:1, Hebrews 10:12, Acts 12:2, I Peter 3:22 and elsewhere
The Messiah will be given vinegar and gall to drink Psalm 69:22 Matthew 27:34, John 19:29-30
Great kings will pay homage and tribute to the Messiah Psalm 72:10-11 Matthew 2:1-11
The Messiah is a “stone the builders rejected” who will become the “head cornerstone” Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16 Matthew 21:42-43, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, I Peter 2:6-8
The Messiah will be a descendant of David Psalm 132:11, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Jeremiah 33:15-16 Luke 1:32-33
The Messiah will be a born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-35
The Messiah will make the blind see, the deaf hear, etc.Isaiah 35:5-6
Many places. Also see Matthew 11:3-6, John 11:47
The Messiah will be beaten, mocked, and spat upon Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67, Matthew 27:26-31
The “Gospel according to Isaiah” Isaiah 52:13-53:12
The whole of the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and JohnPeople will hear and not believe the “arm of the LORD” (Messiah) Isaiah 53:1 John 12:37-38
The Messiah will be rejected Isaiah 53:3 Matthew 27:20-25, Mark 15:8-14, Luke 23:18-23, John 19:14-15
The Messiah will be killed Isaiah 53:5-9 Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37-39, Luke 23:46, John 19:30
The Messiah will be silent in front of his accusers Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:62-63, Matthew 27:12-14
The Messiah will be buried with the rich Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:59-60,  Mark 15:46,  Luke 23:52-53, John 19:38-42
The Messiah will be crucified with criminals Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32-33
The Messiah is part of the new and everlasting covenant Isaiah 55:3-4, Jeremiah 31:31-34 Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6-13
The Messiah will be our intercessor (intervene for us and plead on our behalf) Isaiah 59:16 Hebrews 9:15
The Messiah has two missions Isaiah 61:1-3 (first mission ends at “. . . a year of favor from the LORD”)
  1. First mission: Luke 4:16-21;
  2. Second mission: to be fulfilled at the end of the world
The Messiah will come at a specific time Daniel 9:25-26 Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10
The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem Micah 5:1 Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4-7
The Messiah will enter Jerusalem riding a donkey Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-11
The Messiah will be sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 26:15 with Matthew 27:3-10
The Messiah will forsaken by His disciples Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26:31-56
The Messiah will enter the Temple with authority Malachi 3:1-3 Matthew 21:12, Luke 19:45
Source: This is a Roman Catholic site, so some of the Roman Catholic statements, I cannot agree with because of the Scriptures.

B5 Jesus is the Messiah, but He needs to be each person’s Messiah. See
B7 In Matthew 1:19 Joseph and Mary are betrothed, but in Matthew 1:20 Joseph is called her husband. How do we understand this? Joseph and Mary were married—officially, but they had not come together physically. See here:  and here:
B8 Does God have a son? Consider Hebrews 1:5, Psalm 2:7, and Psalm 2:12
B9 Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. This is a true virgin, for the strict medical is used in To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  Luke 1:27 and Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Matthew 1:23
B10 Next time:
  • Written in stone
  • Theme: Rules to live by
  • Scriptures: Exodus 20:1-21